The Karnataka state government withdrew its controversial transfer of five government officials, including Hassan Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri, weeks after the Election Commission had stalled it.
Sindhuri was among seven government officers shuffled overnight, a list which included MV Jayanthi, V Chaitra, SB Shettannavar, MV Venkatesh, K Rajendra and BR Mamatha.
However, the transfers of two officers – MV Jayanthi, Karnataka Appellate Tribunal chairperson and V Chaitra, Labour Commissioner – included in the order notified on January 22, will go ahead.
A day after DC Rohini Sindhuri was transferred, the Election Commission had asked the state government to withdraw its order to transfer Sindhuri and two other DCs until the final publication of electoral rolls on February 28.
DC Rohini Sindhuri’s transfer order came within six months of taking charge, allegedly following a demand from Congress leaders. The DC was overseeing preparations for the Mahamastakabhisheka in Shravanabelegola when she received her transfer order.
The news of her transfer elicited strong reaction from leaders of BJP and JD(S).
The BJP had alleged that the transfer happened due to disagreements between the officer and the Chief Minister’s office over the festival. BJP State President, BS Yeddyurappa, called the transfer unceremonious and said that there was no place for honest offers in the Siddaramaiah government.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had refused to give an explanation for the decision to transfer Sindhuri at the time.
“It is an administrative issue and the government need not give an explanation to others,” he said speaking to The Hindu.
In the eye of the storm over the government’s decision to transfer her, Sindhuri was also issued a notice asking her to explain her absence when CM Siddaramaiah and President Ram Nath Kovind visited Shravanabelegola on February 7 to inaugurate the Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations.
The Siddaramaiah government has in the past transferred officials early into their terms. Dakshina Kannada SP Sudheer Kumar Reddy was transferred just six months into his term. Reddy’s predecessor Bhushan Gulabrao Borase was also shunted out within six months of his appointment after a public tiff with a minister.
Several other officials, including Roopa D, C Shikha and Anupama Shenoy have been transferred after disagreements with ministers.